When people think Comic Con, they usually think of the huge one in San Diego were there are hundreds of thousands of people, lined up for days to get in. However, that is not the case with Toronto Comicon. This Comic Con is much smaller in relation, and that is no jab at Toronto, as their biggest comic convention takes place at the end of summer, usually Labour Day weekend, and it is called Fan Expo Canada. Run by the same company, you can expect similar things in terms of guests, vendors, and artists. It also takes place in the Metro Convention Center, but only in the South Building as opposed to the North and South like Fan Expo Canada. This convention has appeal to people as it is much smaller and intimate. The line-ups to meet the guests are only a fraction of those at Fan Expo and you can spend much more time talking the guests, rather than feeling rushed. Another positive are table photos, or selfies. With Fan Expo Canada very few of the guests do table photos, as they constantly have line-ups, and they want to get through as much people as possible. So they limit it to a couple minutes of talking, and/or an autograph. Therefore, the main way to get pictures with your favourite guests is by doing the Photo Ops, which are professionally photographed photos, where they give you a printed image after. While some people like these, I would prefer getting a table photo, with my own camera as I don’t care for the printed, and would rather the digital file instead. Also, they look more intimate rather than a professional picture.
Guest announcements started in Janurary, and their first announcement was definitely my favourite. It was the Gotham duo of Sean Pertwee and David Mazouz who play Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth respectively, on the TV show Gotham. As a huge DC fan, I am quite the fan of their TV shows. A little disappointed that Gotham does not tie in with the other DCTV shows, but none the less, it is still a great show. Also the portrayal of Bruce and Alfred are done exceptionally by David and Sean. So when it was announced that they would be guests at Toronto Comicon 2017 I knew I would be going. I was debating to skip this year as I didn’t want to spend money, but thought that if there were guests that were worth it, I’d make the trip down. Granted, I did have a free pass for Sunday, as I had the Premium tickets for Fan Expo Canada last year. So with the announcement of the Gotham duo, I knew I would be heading down, even if it was just for them. The rest of the guest line-up was decent. Not the greatest, but it’s what you would expect from a smaller con. Both Ray Park and Laurie Holden were announced, and I would have definitely wanted to meet them as they are from Star Wars and The Walking Dead respectively; two of my favourite franchises.
I ended up getting to the convention really early, at 10:30 am. I should have remembered that this was not Fan Expo and there wouldn’t have been much waiting. I had the Gotham duo at 2:00 pm, and that was my only scheduled event. Otherwise, I was free the whole time leading up. I decided to first go and meet Noelle Foley, the daughter of the legendary wrestler, Mick Foley. Now, Noelle Foley is currently a star on the show Holey Foley – a reality show about the Foley family. She is also an active member in the WWE industry as she is trying to make it as a wrestler. One thing that she has recently done, is started her own YouTube channel. Upon watching, I realized that she is a big fan of Funko POP figures. Knowing this, I decided to bring her a present – one of my old POP figures. Reason being was that I had gotten it for free, and also I have been recently trying to get rid of all the stuff in my room I no longer needed. So why not give to someone who would make use? So as soon as I got into line, they told me to come right up as there was no one around (at the moment – a lineup formed shortly after). She introduced herself, and asked me my name. After, I quickly told her that I had a present for her, and she seemed excited. As soon as I gave her the POP figure, she was ecstatic – very happy and thrilled with it. Apparently she walked the floor the day before looking for exclusive figures, but came up empty handed, and the fact that the one I gave her was an exclusive, she was thrilled. She immediately showed her dad, and continued thanking me. After she came out from behind the table, and I let her use my camera as it’s the same one she has, and uses all the time. We took two selfies, and she thanked me again, before giving a hug and saying bye. I later found out that she took a Snapchat picture of the POP and her, thanking me for it. However, she didn’t mention me by name. I guess she had done it later on in the day, and by then she had met a ton of people, so probably forgot my name. I don’t blame her at all for not giving credit. I was just happy that she liked the gift.
I was planning on meeting Kevin Sussman who plays Stuart Bloom on The Big Bang Theory afterwards, but he was away from his table. I think he had a photo op schedule at that time. I decided to walk around the show floor for a bit, checking out some of the vendors, and artists in Artist Alley. To be honest, nothing really caught my eyes this year, in terms of art. I could be because I didn’t want to spend money, or the art was just not appealing. I did however; spend some time at some vendor’s tables that were selling knives. I like collecting knives, and am fascinated with the different designs of them, so was trying to find a new one. I stumbled upon one place that had a double-sided Batman knife that I wanted, but like always, I say I will walk around and think about it before deciding. I don’t like impulse buys, because I end up not wanting it later on. Good thing I waited, because I never returned to but the knife. After about an hour of walking around, I decided to return to Kevin’s table. He was there, and had a line-up. Thankfully, it didn’t take too long, and in about 15 minutes, I was at the front. He was really kind and nice. We were talking about his Star Wars shirt that he had, and the one he was wearing the day before, which led to us debating which our favourite movie from the franchise was. He was beyond kind and thankful for each fan that came out to meet him, and you could tell that he was genuine. We took two selfies together, and I was on my way. Afterwards I had some time to kill, so I went by the photo ops area and just sat on the floor, waiting out the time.
When it was closer to my photo op time, and I saw a line-up forming, I went and got in line. Thankfully, I wasn’t too far back. I was probably within the first 30 people. As always with Toronto Comicon the photo ops are always on time, and the line-up goes quick. Before I knew it, I was near the front of the line and could see Sean and David upfront. A couple people ahead of me, there was a family getting their picture done, but the daughter kept on blinking so they had to keep re-doing the shoot. I guess that took up a lot of space, because as I got to the front, they told us to hold one for a bit. It was during this time I was able to talk to Sean and David. I have got to say, these two guys were so nice and genuine. Beyond friendly to me, and it seemed like the same to those ahead of me. I knew Sean was kind from his interviews, but never got a grasp of David. Strictly based off assumption, I believed that a 15 year old TV actor would be egotistical, and only care about money, and not the fans, but I was completely wrong. He was so nice, from the moment I got to the front. Shaking my hand, thanking me for my support of the show, and for coming out. Since they are actors for DC TV, I thought that I would bring up Suicide Squad and the fact that it was filmed here. They told me how the enjoyed it, and hopefully they can have some reincarnation of it on the TV show (which I would LOVE). We also discussed Toronto and both of them said that they love the city, and how everyone is so friendly to them. Yea, I know, it’s a Canadian thing. By then, the camera man was ready, and Sean suggested we should do a fighting pose, which I happily agreed to. They then thanked me for coming out, and I wished them a good time for the rest of their stay as I left the area. Afterwards, I picked up my photo, and got my digital copy e-mailed to me, before leaving the con, and heading out to eat.
Overall, I would say it was another successful year. Probably the shortest time I have ever spent, but definitely worth the free pass. Just to meet the Gotham duo was great, then added the time with Noelle Foley and Kevin Sussman, it was a great day. Now it’s the countdown to Fan Expo Canada, which is already being promoted as “The best guest list Toronto has ever seen.” Let’s see how they do, after having some impressive last few years.